RIP, DPReview

Well, this sucks. After almost 25 years, DPReview is shutting down.

It’s hard to understate what a go-to resource DPReview has been over the years, especially their excellent technical reviews. Literally every digital camera purchase I’ve made for over two decades, from the slightly goofy but fun-as-heck Nikon 995 to my current Fuji X-T5 workhorse, involved checking in with one of their reviews. And its user forums were actually useful, too (shocking, I know).

But Amazon is pulling the plug. The surprise announcement is short on details, but promises more posts between now and April 10, after which the site will be “locked.”

I hope some of those entries will speak to the business fundamentals. Was it making money? Was it enough to be a modest self-sustaining business, but not enough to satisfy the balance sheets of a massive corporate parent? Did it drive a substantive amount of referral purchases to Amazon from readers clicking through those reviews? Did they float the idea of a sale? Subscriptions? (I would have paid for one in a heartbeat.) Sponsorships from camera manufacturers, who all benefited from the attention the site brought to their gear?

Also, there’s this worrying bit about the site being available after it’s locked “for a limited period.” Is a generation’s worth of digital photo history about to disappear?

Meanwhile, the popular stars of their YouTube channel, themselves snagged from another photo venue five years ago, have already landed at a surviving competitor. The show must go on, it seems.

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